The basic idea behind The Bin is easy, it’s a waste bin divided into four sections. By sorting your waste instead of throwing everything in the same container you can lower your waste handling costs dramatically. The main target groups for The Bin are hotels and offices but The Bin can of course be used in every other environment where waste occurs. For example at home, in public spaces, at hospitals and so on. The Bin brings the sorting closer at hand. The Bin is produced in Malmö, Sweden with all the sustainable perspectives taken into consideration.
It must be easy to do good and The Bin makes it possible. By using The Bin the sorting gets close at hand. According to research2 people are in general positive to recycling and want to sort their waste. Crucial however is the access and closeness, this is solved by The Bin, as the sorting now is as near the user as possible. The loop is closed.The Bin – closer to the waste.
Doing good doesn’t mean being ugly
The “muesli look” that often appears on environmentally friendly products is not in line with Mines Above Ground aesthetics. We want to offer as environmentally friendly products as possible made with consciousness without compromising with looks.
Do good make money – make even
If you don’t care about the financial benefits connected to the usage of The Bin you might be interested in other values. For example how long it takes to “pay” back the environmental impact (in carbon dioxide equivalents) that is connected to the production and materials of The Bin. If you raise your recycling with 50 percentage it will take you approximately 75 days of usage to come down to zero. After that your usage of The Bin will only generate positive saving effects. Every kilo that is being recycled lowers the potential emission of CO2 since new extraction is avoided. For example recycled aluminium is 95% less energy consuming than virgin material. One kilo of recycled plastic replaces one litre of virgin mineral oil3.
Fun to know: If every Swedish household would recycle two more toothpaste tubes and two more shampoo bottles per year than is done today, it would gain enough energy to heat 300 homes4.
Do good make money – break even
Since The Bin itself will help you save on expenses associated with your waste collection one could wonder when and how much money could be gained by starting to recycle more. Everyone’s waste situation is different but an office with 300 bins and an amount of garbage at 0.5 kg per bin per day that would go from 20% to 80% of recycling rate, would reach break even after just two years of usage. After that, it’s a pure moneybox. The more that is sorted, the more you save. Example: The company goes from 20% to 80% sorting. Sorted waste costs 100 SEK a kilo, unsorted 1395 SEK per kilo. 150 kg per year before would generate a waste handling cost of 170 400 SEK. 150 kg per year after, 53850 SEK. The price of the vessel split on the economic benefit would pay back after 2.3 years. Viewed in a ten year perspective the savings under the last 8 years is of almost one million (932 400 SEK).
Materials and production
All materials in The Bin, except for the wood, are made from recycled materials. They are recycled to an as high percentage as possibly found and can be recycled again. The production is based in Malmö and with sustainability in mind in every step.
Bogdan Bogdanowicz the welder, at Specialteknik in Malmö.
The main material in the bins are expanded steel in different metals and coatings. The biggest advantage with expanded steel is the gain in area when the metal is stretched without any material waste. Expanded steel.
The expanded steel is 80% recycled and recyclable. The bins made in brass are also made from 80% recycled material. Two of the top lids are made from high impact polystyrene made from either 100% recycled refrigerator door shelves or 100% recycled coffee cup waste. Recycled refrigerator doors shelves and recycled coffee cup waste.
The reusable inner vessels are made from reused and twice recycled (100%) cardboard fibres. Recycled paper based production consumes less energy than manufacturing based on virgin fibres. Reused and twice recycled (100%) cardboard.
The bins are coated with powder coating which is the most durable coating method compared to being the least harmful. No solvents are used in the process and excess powder is recycled. When recycling a metal coated with powder coating the coating is burnt and the fumes cleaned. The coating industry in Sweden is strictly controlled and basically no emissions are allowed. Read more about the different products and material combinations here.
Expanded steel: It would be fantastic if 100% of the metal could be recycled. This is however not to be found on the market today. We are keeping our eyes and ears open for improvements.
Brass, expanded and sheet: Same situation as with steel. We have only found brass consisting of 80% recycled material but are looking for higher.
Plastic: The fantastic plastics in the lids of The Bin Black and The Bin White are produced in Shrewsbury, England and then shipped by boat to Malmö, Sweden. We could wish for a more local production of recycled plastic sheets in Sweden. This is however something that the Swedish industry does not seem interested in or sees the potential in, yet. Still if Malmö is the centre of production, Shrewsbury is as local as the middle of Sweden would be.
- Va Syd
- Research report Robusta och flexibla strategier för utnyttjande av energi ur avfall from Centrum för miljöstrategisk forskning at KTH
- Sopor.nu which is a collaboration between Naturvårdsverket, El-Kretsen, Förpacknings- och Tidningsinsamlingen och Avfall Sverige.
- Report Miljöfördelar med återvunnet material som råvara, 2002 by Håkan Nordin Miljökompassen / Återvinningsindustrierna